Registration still open for Ford Driving Skills for Life

North Dakota Department of Transportation

Bismarck- The North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) is seeking teen drivers with a permit or license between the ages of 14 to 18 to attend a FREE, one-day Ford Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) safety event at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks Wednesday, August 18. The deadline to register for this traffic safety event is Monday, August 15.

There will be two sessions available from 8 a.m. to noon or 1 to 5 p.m. The Alive at 25 defensive driving course will also be available for teens who are interested. Alive at 25 is a defensive driving course designed to reduce the likelihood of motor vehicle crashes in young drivers. This course limited to the first 25 participants per session.

The Ford DSFL program is one of the nation’s most comprehensive teen driver safety programs and allows participants to get involved in a variety of interactive traffic safety activities. Teens will have the opportunity to drive through a challenging course with various obstacles, see how a vehicle can disappear in a truck’s blind spots, and experience simulators that focus on impaired driving, distracted driving and the importance of wearing your seat belt.

Lori Hill of Gwinner, ND attended the event with her twin daughters, Abby and Megan.

“My daughters did simulators at Driving Skills for Life for things they had only read about in driver’s education. Through this event, they got first-hand experience of seeing the perspective from a semi-truck. The impaired driving simulator was a real eye-opener to the dangers of driving impaired,” Lori said.

“We really learned a lot from the distracted driving simulation,” the sisters added. “The law enforcement officer who rode along trying to distract us got us both very flustered. It put into perspective all of the things that can be a distraction in a vehicle, including passengers, and how important it is to focus on driving.”

In 2019 in North Dakota, teen drivers accounted for 5% of all licensed drivers but were behind the wheel in nearly 20% of all crashes. Teen drivers in North Dakota were involved in 12% of fatal crashes for the same period. Because of these statistics, it is important to continually educate teen drivers and provide them with opportunities to enhance their driving skills to move toward the goal of Vision Zero: zero fatalities and serious injuries from motor vehicle crashes on North Dakota roads.